Pregnancy and NQT Year

Hi,

I am currently in my NQT year .. I recently found out that I’m about 5 weeks pregnant and it was not planned at all.

First of all, I’m absolutely petrified. I previously suffered a miscarriage back in 2015 and I was absolutely heartbroken. All I’ve ever really wanted is to be a mum! I guessed that setback gave me the kick to sort my career out first before we tried again and let myself have some breathing time from thinking about ovulation dates.

Flash forward 2 years later .. I can’t help but feel like this pregnancy is REALLY bad timing. I feel anxious already to tell my work .. I’m on a 1 year fixed term contract as all NQTs are, with the potential to be made permanent if I pass the year. The years going great so far - almost half way through .. I just feel like I’m really taking the piss to go on maternity (am I entitled any maternity pay?) and that they might think I’m not serious about my career and may not even extend my contract because of this. My brain is just doing overtime .. I also realise I won’t be the first person this has happened to and that there isn’t a right or wrong time. I know that I would be a great mum, and the baby would be due late September (providing everything goes well) so it wouldn’t stop me from completing my induction year. 

Just wondering if anyone else has been in the same position and what the outcome was?

Thanks so much in advance

xoxox 

Posts

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    Hello lovely!

    Firstly, congratulations - I'm sure you're aware that pregnancy is a blessing . Look after yourself, especially given what's happened to you before. You're bound to be petrified - anyone would be! I'm sure many ladies who are pregnant or have been can relate. 

    I can only come at this from a teacher's perspective really, and whilst I don't have personal experience, I can only advise as someone whose been in the profession for five years and waited until all my ducks were in a row before I started to think about TTC. 

    In some ways, it's better that you're pregnant now rather than your training year. At least you'll have passed everything you need to and you're not a 'burden' to a school regarding needing a mentor. I'm not an employment law specialist, but I would be concerned about where you stand with the school regarding permanent employment. Whilst they can't legally not give you a job because you're pregnant, unfortunately in some ways, as you'd essentially be going on maternity leave in the summer, you're almost exiting the contract yourself without them having to do anything. I would be happy to be corrected by anyone with a knowledge of this though!

    I wouldn't jump to conclusions and assume they think you're taking the piss because you're entitled to get pregnant when you want after all, planned or not! However, from a school's 'business' perspective, it can present a ballache. If they were to give you a job, you'd need maternity cover presumably for the majority of the academic year, in which case, they might as well fill that vacancy permanently. I think it depends how much they like you - make yourself irreplaceable if you can. One thing you'd have to consider as well is whether you'd want to return to work full time (I know that's something you can't always judge until baby arrives). Again, that's something a school may potentially be concerned about if they were hoping to take you on as a full time teacher next year. It's a rock and a hard place in some ways, but everything happens for a reason! I highly doubt you'll get maternity pay though. My contract states I have to be employed for two years before getting any maternity benefits.

    I know the prospect of having this conversation is scary, but do arrange a sit down with your head to discuss your news and also about where you stand job-wise. I doubt anyone thinks you're not taking your career seriously, but having that chat will be a great opportunity for you to lay your cards on the table and show your head that you're committed moving forward. Bear in mind as well that you may need to disclose your pregnancy (confidentially) sooner than you'd like if a child at your school ends up being diagnosed with shingles.

    Best of luck to you for a happy, healthy pregnancy! Don't worry about a job - there will always be one waiting for you whether at your current school or another when you're ready to return to work  x 

  • Thankyou .. It feels like it’s such a difficult situation this time and it’s never been something I would ever have thought twice about. I’m 28, im in a long term relationship, we have good jobs and we just bought a house together. 

    My mums advise was that anything can happen and I shouldn’t rush into a decision either way .. I have some more time to think about it. I am just really concerned about my job though but that doesn’t feel like it’s a good reason to ever terminate a pregnancy .. I don’t think I could do it without really regretting it. I think I would end up resenting my job. 

    My boyfriend has said he will support me either way but he thinks it’s a bad time with my career just starting. I definately wouldn’t have planned to time it like this and I feel really embarrassed about it but I guess everything happens for a reason :( 

    Also I did part of my teacher training at the school - my contract as an UQT started in July and then changed to NQT salary from September. 

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    Im someone who left the profession due to my daughter. I found the work load was no longer compatible with family life. By the time I had missed her second nativity, as well as parents evenings, family events, summer fairs etc because I was too busy with my own schools I just got fed up. 

    It can be done, I know people who do it, but having a child and being a teacher is hard, you find yourself putting children second, either your own when you can't do something for them because your busy or your class because you were busy trying to have family time.

    If you do this then cling to every piece of support. Get every family member around to help. The baby bit is easier, it' when they are slightly older that it gets harder.

    Sorry, don't want to be negative, just want to be honest.

  • Sadieee,

    Thankyouu - I appreciate the honesty! I’m already trying to stop myself panicking about how I would manage getting a toddler to nursery in a morning before work or who would do the pickups. I live quite far from my family .. 100 miles to be precise. I know my boyfriends family would support us but I don’t want to be reliant on them. 

    Like I said though, I’m only 5 weeks or so. Who knows what will happen. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. At the moment - everyday that I haven’t lost this little jelly bean is a blessing .. Of course I’m absolutely shitting myself and there’s so much I could worry about but I know having a baby would make it all worth it in the end. Possibly 😂 If I don’t lose my job and then can’t afford the mortgage .. 🙈

    xoxoxox

     

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555
    rhian22 wrote (see post):

    Thankyou .. It feels like it’s such a difficult situation this time and it’s never been something I would ever have thought twice about. I’m 28, im in a long term relationship, we have good jobs and we just bought a house together. 

    My mums advise was that anything can happen and I shouldn’t rush into a decision either way .. I have some more time to think about it. I am just really concerned about my job though but that doesn’t feel like it’s a good reason to ever terminate a pregnancy .. I don’t think I could do it without really regretting it. I think I would end up resenting my job. 

    My boyfriend has said he will support me either way but he thinks it’s a bad time with my career just starting. I definately wouldn’t have planned to time it like this and I feel really embarrassed about it but I guess everything happens for a reason :( 

    Also I did part of my teacher training at the school - my contract as an UQT started in July and then changed to NQT salary from September. 

    Definitely do not give up a pregnancy for a job, nor feel embarrassed. If you do continue teaching, as Sadie says, you often put other kids before your own. Do not let it come in the way of something you've always wanted before you've even had the chance to live that dream. The world works in mysterious ways! If I could play devil's advocate for a second (and I really don't mean to be insensitive), but I have been careful for a number of years not to fall pregnant because of the job - even falling out with my husband on our honeymoon as I wanted to see my current Year 11 class through their exams rather than TTC. If the job was that important to you, surely you would have been safer even if you didn't intend for it to happen?

    That's good that you've already been there for two years - at least you should have a relationship with your colleagues and leadership team then. That may help your case to be offered a permanent job  Yes, you've got a good few weeks to have a think about your options, but even if you want to stay on, it will be up to your head to decide what's best for their school. I know for a fact that they can't not give you a job because you're pregnant (a friend was worried the same would happen for her when it came to a promotion opportunity last year before her baby's arrival in the summer), but you can't expect them to give you a job when you're currently not employed for next year and they'd need to employ someone on maternity to cover you... 

    Even if you can't stay on at the school, you have the qualification which means you'll be able to move on, go into supply or another field of education. I would also heed Sadie's warning about the demands of the job moving forward. Everyone is different, but my NQT+1 year was the toughest year I've had! Definitely have a good network of people set up around you regardless of what you end up doing. Love to you x

     

  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    You do have options though. A friend of mine went part time with a job share, another became a senior TA in order to lessen the work load while still being with kids, many supply. 

    The school cannot use your pregnancy as a reason to not hire you next year but they will look out for their own interests first.

  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride

    I have no kids of my own, and am interviewing at the moment for teacher training (eek!) so whilst I don't have personal experience of this, I've been thinking a lot about the future, kids and career etc. my mum is a brilliant teacher and has been for 40 years, and when I was talking to her about the impact of family on your job and vice versa, she said "well we managed just fine!" (Note, my dad was a teacher for 40 years before retiring too!) she had a job share when my sister and I were little, we went to the same school as her which I think helped, and of course the holidays she always had off with us. We never felt we missed out on time with parents. If anything we saw more of her being at the same school! It can be done, and there will always be people out there to warn of the negative bits, but not so much the positive. I'm sure you will be a brilliant teacher and a brilliant mum! Congratulations! How exciting that you have so many life things happening! Good luck! X

  • Melissa45Melissa45 Posts: 486 New bride

    Congratulations Rhian. Whilst I haven’t been in your exact situation I am a teacher and im currently on maternity leave looking after my little girl after a non planned pregnancy! My husband and I found out the day before our wedding 🙈

    I second what some of the others have said in that schools are businesses and that will often be top priority to them. When will you find out whether they are making your contract permanent? Could you wait until after then to confirm the pregnancy to school? I had a colleague who did that and whilst it was slightly cheeky it Worked in that she now has a job to come back to after maternity leave. 

    Babies are hard work! And I was extremely worried when I found out but they so worth it! It’s changed my life in the best way Which was not what I expected. 

    I’m due back in March after a year off and I’m already looking for a new job. Like sadiee im not sure I can committ in the same way and I don’t want my child to be second to every child I teach! However my school and head teacher aren’t very family friendly And don’t really support part time. You may find things are different at your school? Do any of your colleagues have young children? Could you suss out how they manage Things without letting on to your situation? 

    Xx

     

  • Lou85Lou85 Posts: 1,808 New bride

    Hi Rhian, I can't comment on this because I'm not a teacher - but, I have a friend who is a primary school teacher - she lived in London but moved to Surrey when she was pregnant so left her job and then had to find a new job after mat leave. She managed to find a job-share where she only worked three days which was perfect for her. I know she finds it tiring but she has family look after her little one for two of the days and then nursery for one day. So it can work, you can have both xxx

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